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Multi Grain Idli (steamed lentil and rice cakes). A healthy and delicious breakfast, lunch or snack. Vegan, Gluten Free and Oil Free Recipe. Jump to Recipe

Multi Grain Idli (steamed lentil and rice cakes). A healthy and delicious breakfast, lunch or snack. Vegan, Gluten Free and Oil Free Recipe. #glutenfree #veganricha #vegan

Idli is a south Indian savory cake popular throughout India. The cakes are usually two to three inches in diameter and are made by steaming a batter consisting of fermented lentils and rice. I am not an idli expert.. but once in a while I cook up some combination of lentils and grains and come up with some tasty idlis! There are a lot of idli recipes with all sorts of grains, vegetables and other things all over the food blogging universe.. Check out some varieties at Srivallis and Priyas blogs!

Multi Grain Idli (steamed lentil and rice cakes)

5 from 1 vote
By: Vegan Richa
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Course: Breakfast, lunch
Cuisine: Gluten-free, oil free, Vegan
Multi Grain Idli (steamed lentil and rice cakes). A healthy and delicious breakfast, lunch or snack. Vegan, Gluten Free and Oil Free Recipe.
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To be soaked:

  • 1/2 cup urad daal, (split black gram daal)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 cup white rice, (I used basmati.. typically should use parboiled rice)
  • 1/4 cup toor daal, (split pigeon pea)
  • 1/4 cup chana daal, (split Bengal gram)
  • 2 teaspoons methi seeds, (Fenugreek seeds)

To be added later:

  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 dried red chili
  • handful of methi leaves, (fresh fenugreek leaves)
  • salt to taste


  • Soak all the to be soaked items overnight (12 hours) .. its quite cold here right now.. so i usually let it be for 12-16 hours.
  • Drain the water and grind the soaked lentils/grains along with ginger, dried red chili, washed fenugreek leaves and salt(1/2 teaspoon or more) with little water if needed.
  • If this mixture doesnt look fermented enough, add 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, or keep for another 4-6 hours in a warm place.
  • Grease Idli stand and mix and pour the batter.
  • Steam the idlis for 20 mins and let stand for another 10 before removing from idli stand.
  • Serve with sambhar (Pigeon Pea curry), coconut chutney or any podi (dry chutney)! Serve in breakfast or lunch! There are other lentils or oats and grains, vegetables can be added as well.


  • Total time does not include 12-16 hours soaking time
  • Nutritional value is based on 1 serving


Calories: 142kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 4g, Sodium: 2mg, Potassium: 52mg, Fiber: 3g, Vitamin C: 0.5mg, Calcium: 16mg, Iron: 1.6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Richa

Hi, I'm Richa! I create flavorful plant based recipes that are inspired by my Indian upbringing, including many gluten-free, soy-free, and oil-free options.

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  1. sonia says:

    Just made them. Only difference was using jasmine rice, brown and white. Were not soft. Coconut chutney with dried coconut didn’t feel as good as may be with fresh coconut. Will make uttapam with left over batter from 1 batch of idli.

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      Good to know; thanks.

  2. Vinny says:

    Hello vegan richa am a 99 percent vegan too. Thank you for the multigrain idli recipe. Will definitely try it next week. Is there an email to contact you? Thank you Vinny

    1. Richa says:

      You can reply here

  3. April says:

    These were quite tasty. My first batch(I doubled the recipe) came out to dense, though they were very much fermented so I added a heaping tsp of eno and some water to make the batter smoother and fluffier. Is the long cook time because there is chana in them? Totally off topic, do you have a recipe for making chukri or mung dal (snack) baked instead of fried? I love these items but I would love to be able to make these items in a healthier version :).

    1. Richa says:

      hmm, try making thick pancakes on the skillet to see how they turn out.. Sometimes the larger amounts of legumes behaves differently so might need the help for extra aeration.

      i dont have a chukri on the blog yet. I dont have the chakri /sev machine to make it. It should be easy to bake. the dough will not brown as much and it will be crispier on baking.

  4. forgottenbeast says:

    These are always my favorite item a local Indian buffet! Gotta try to make them myself, now

  5. veggie belly says:

    how unique! im loving this multi grain idli, this is is defenitely going in my bookmarks!

  6. Richa says:

    thanks Vaishali.
    I never made idlis till I saw so many variations on the food blog world!
    These variations are usually a big hit with my hubbs. He doesnt even know what all i sneak into them idlis:)

  7. Vaishali says:

    Your delicious idlis remind me that I need to make this healthful dish more often. Although he’s Tamil, idlis are surprisingly not high on Desi’s list of favorites. A variation like this might do the trick, though.